Imagine yourself sitting in your office with an itchy chair, boring screens, and a chaotic environment, trying to sell a product. On the other side, your customer is trying to listen to you while doing his deeds. Sounds annoying, right? No matter how good your pitch is, and how much you have talked about the product benefits; still the customer denies it even in great need of it. Sounds quite familiar, right? Sad moments in sales!
And now imagine yourself, arriving at the doorstep of customers with posh and tidy attire in the blazing heat, giving the real-life experience of the product to the customer and answering their questions. And Boom! You just sold the product. That’s the feat field sales have achieved. Let’s know more about it in this article.
What is field sales?
Field sales simply mean the selling of products or services by sales reps outside the office or a formal team environment. Sales representative goes outside their office to meet the prospects, and sell them products. That’s why it is also known as outside sales.
There is no specified working hours or office setting for field sales. Sales representatives are supposed to keep their schedule flexible as per client needs. And should sell their products at the places their customers find convenient. Like a cafe, or a customer’s office.
How is field sales different from inside sales?
There’s a fine line between field sales and inside sales. As we discussed earlier field sales does not have any office setting. On the other hand, inside sales reps work in office settings or under supervision. Field sales representatives spend more time selling compared to inside sales representatives. The primary communication method of field sales representatives is direct meetings with clients. While the primary communication method for inside sales representatives is either cold calling or cold emailing. The organization has to spend more on-field sales representatives as they get compensated for their traveling, sometimes housing, and food expenses. Inside sales representatives, on the other hand, are quite low maintenance compared to field sales representatives. Companies selling complex and expensive products often hire field sales representatives. As it requires reaching high-level decision-makers and convincing them to buy. Inside sales representatives are hired for less complicated and sophisticated products.
10 reasons why field sales beat and will always beat all other forms of selling.
Well if filed sales representatives are quite high maintenance compared to inside sellers. Why does any business want to hire them? It’s because field sales have some pros that can never be beaten by other forms of selling. Here are the Top 10 advantages of field sales.
1. You sell more when you use field sales strategies.
Hiring field sales representatives with great skills will take your business to the next level. Your inside sales representatives might be making more sales calls and making more pitches. But field sales representatives are the ones who are cracking more deals. Field sales reps are more efficient to convert leads to customers 40% of the time. On the contrary, the inside sales team closes deals only 18% of the time. The field sales representatives also achieve their quotas more compared to inside sales representatives. Statistics show that 65% of field representatives attain their quotas, which is 10% higher than the inside representatives.
2. Stronger customer relationships
Filed sales help you to build stronger relationships with your customers. Field sales representatives meet clients face-to-face to initiate the interactions. They understand the customer needs and align the products as per the customer’s pain points. The power of face-to-face communication is well known. It’s more effective than just calling and emailing prospects. Phone calls, emails, and texts often lack one thing that’s emotions. Emotions play a major role in decision-making. While communicating with the prospects, field sales reps can show his/her genuine desire to help out the client and can be more friendly. Not only that, face-to-face conversations leave no room for misunderstandings and engage the prospect better.
All this strengthens your relationships with the customers. Once you build a good relationship with your customers you can provide them with better customer service and make them your loyal customers.
3. Presentations and demos leave a better impact on prospective customers
Field representatives use selling techniques like giving away free samples, giving live demos, or simply displaying the product. Samples, demos, and displays to help customers to experience the product before purchasing it. We, humans, love visuals and we process them way faster than text. That’s why visual selling methods engage customers better and encourage them to purchase the product.
On the contrary, inside sales representatives might use pictures, videos, and phone calls to convert the prospect. This might make sales but it is not effective as visual selling. That is samples, presentations, demos, and displays.
4. It is the best match for Businesses having Complex Sales Cycles
Online shopping is trendings. But, not all products can be sold just by listing and advertising them online. Some products require tons of attention, service, or installation. In the case of medical equipment or huge machinery, you will always have to meet your customers face-to-face.
When it comes to special products with complex sales processes, field sales are more beneficial than inside sales. Inside sales come in handy when it comes to simpler products. Which can be sold by a single person and doesn’t need any service or installation after the sale.
Field sales are crucial for some industries and customers. If you are selling to other companies, you must meet your prospects. B2B sales often involve the use of presentations which is quite difficult to do remotely. Also in the medical industry, medical representatives visit doctors personally to sell their products. In-person meetings help MRs to explain their products’ benefits better to the doctor so that they can further explain it to their patients. In these cases selling via emails or phone calls is difficult and in some cases impossible.
5. Field sales representatives are a great source of customer data and feedback.
Field representatives are the people who interact with the customer the most. They will always try to find out customer’s pain points and special needs while interacting with them. With effective communication skills, field representatives will gather customer information and customer feedback. This feedback will help you to make your product better for customers as per their needs. That’s why fields representatives are great sources of customer feedback and customer information
6. Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty.
One of the best ways to attract and retain customers is personalization. By personalization, you can tailor an experience or communication with your customers as per their preferences. As a field sales representative, meet the customer personally and show genuine interest in their concerns. This enhances customer satisfaction. Once the customer is satisfied with your service it becomes a lot easier to convert him into a loyal customer. Loyal customers are more likely to spend more money on your products. You can also use cross-selling or upselling techniques to sell more. But this is pretty difficult when you are selling using an inside sales method.
7. Better negotiations
In inside sales, if your prospect denies purchasing your product. It gets difficult to know the reason for rejection. It might be the pricing or features of the product. In that case inside sales representatives can’t do much.
On the contrary, field sales representatives have face-to-face conversations with prospects. That’s why they are able to understand the reasons why customers hesitate to buy from you. Field sales representatives discuss the alternatives with the customer. This will encourage the customer to purchase the product they were not ready to purchase.
Alteration of cost, adding additional features, or selling another product complimenting the purchased one are a few of the negotiating practices to seal the deal.
8. Higher quote acquisition
Statistics show that the average close rate of field sales representatives is 40%. While the inside sales representatives attain only an 18% close rate, which is much lower. The reason behind this is that field sales representatives are able to convert prospects into paying customers more consistently compared to inside sales representatives. Filed sales representatives attain allocation 65% of the time. On the other hand, inside sales representatives attain quota just 55% of the time.
9. For selling highly-priced products that involve multiple decision-makers
Does your product require lots of green flags from multiple decision-makers before it gets sold? If yes, then you must invest in a team of highly skilled field sales representatives. As we already discussed, the major advantage of field sales is in-person meetings with clients. That enhances customer trust which is essential for pitching expensive products.
Imagine yourself buying a product worth a lakh just on a phone call. You can’t, right? That’s when field sales come into the picture. A 30 min face-to-face interaction is way better than multiple zoom meetings any day. A sales representative is able to explain the features and benefits better in person compared to virtual sales.
10. Better customer compliance
Flexibility and malleability of field sales give a great advantage as the time can be managed at the customers’ convenience. As customers can decide the meeting timings at their convenience. This ensures that the customer is in the right state to listen to your sales pitch and will resonate with it.
5 hacks to sell like a PRO in field sales
1. Focus more on building a valuable sales team
Recruit sales reps as per your ideal client persona. Identify your client’s needs and wants first. After that hire candidates having relevant skills, knowledge, and qualifications. To identify your ideal candidate you have to look at what skills, knowledge, and career goals they have. These factors will ensure that your candidate can run successful field sales campaigns. You might have to repeat the recruiting process if there’s a need for future position reopenings. Remember that, The more skilled your representatives are, the more profits are coming your way.
2. Coordinate your sales and marketing team.
All of your efforts, budget, and resources are going down the lane. If your sales and marketing team are not aligned. Around 75% of marketing leads never get converted due to a lack of coordination.
On the other hand, when the sales and marketing team work in proper coordination, your company’s sales are gonna skyrocket. For that, you have to invest more time in assuring that both sales and marketing teams are working towards the same goal.
3. Conduct regular analysis of sales performance
Your product is great, you have hired a skilled sales team, and coordinated sales and marketing teams still not able to achieve your sales goals? If it sounds like you, then you might be doing one thing wrong. That is not analyzing the sales performance.
Analyzing field sales performance allows you to make data-backed decisions to improve your sales strategy.
4. Choose the correct KPIs
Be it filed sales or inside sales both have the same aim of cracking more deals. But both teams have different approaches to achieving their aims. Thus, choosing suitable KPIs for field sales becomes crucial.
Field sales representatives spend more time in the field rather than on desks. That’s why special KPIs should be used. Time frames for measuring KPIs must be based on the average length of the sales cycle.
For example, the
- number of in-person meetings. (It will give you a decent idea about the representative’s ability to connect with clients in person.)
- Leads-to-converted client ratio. (This indicates how effectively the representative is sealing the deal.)
5. Build a community among your field sales team
Field sales representatives work remotely, and due to this, they might feel disconnected from their peers. As most salespeople are competitive this might discourage them. Thus, creating a community enhances moral values and promotes healthy competition among sales representatives. We learn most things from people around us. Just like that, sales representatives can learn new skills, tips, and tricks from their peers. managers should arrange regular meet-ups for sales representatives to interact with each other.
Inside sales have its pros over field sales but it can never beat field sales. With inside sales, you can reach out to more people virtually but field sales bring the experience to the prospects. In price-sensitive markets like India, field sales are more relevant than inside sales.
Field sale gives any company a more precise and intuitive response towards their products and services and in all great feedback on their product which inside sale lacks on many points. This feedback helps you further enhance quality and customer service.
Field sales have many advantages but some disadvantages as it is a very tiring process but it always gives more impressive results than inside sales.